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Basic information Name: Matarka
     This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: There is no official abbreviation for this meteorite.
Observed fall: Yes, confirmed fall
Year fell: 2018
Country: Morocco
Mass:help 538 g
Meteoritical Bulletin:  MB 109  (2020)  L6
Recommended:  L6    [explanation]

This is 1 of 12780 approved meteorites (plus 11 unapproved names) classified as L6.   [show all]
Search for other: L chondrites, L chondrites (type 4-7), Ordinary chondrites, and Ordinary chondrites (type 4-7)
Comments: Approved 21 Mar 2020
Writeup from MB 109:

Matarka        33°15’N, 02°45’W

Eastern, Morocco

Confirmed fall: 2018 Jan 5

Classification: Ordinary chondrite (L6)

History: In the evening of January 5, 2018, between 21:00 and 22:00 local time, a bright fireball was witnessed by people in the communities Tendrara, Anoual and Bouarfa in northeastern Morocco. The event was described as of several seconds duration, and with a green color. At least one fragmentation was described by one observer. No sound phenomena were reported. Eyewitness accounts were collected in May and June 2018 by Abdelaziz Mouadine from two eyewitnesses, Ali Atewi (Matarka) and Keser Haron (Talsint). On February 5, one month after the event, a single meteorite was found near Matarka, and subsequently offered to Moroccan meteorite dealers. Eventually it was purchased by Aid Mohamed, and on April 27, 2018, it was sold to M. Jost in Foum Zgouid, near Zagora, Morocco.

Physical characteristics: Single stone with dimensions 7.5 × 6.5 × 6.5 cm and a mass of 538 g. Angular shape with smoothly rounded edges, indicating significant ablation and extended atmospheric flight as individual. The mass displays a fresh appearance and, apart from a small (1 × 3 cm) area, is completely covered in fresh fusion crust. One area is rough and shows melting lips along the edge, probably the result of a fragmentation at high altitude. The matrix shows a bright ash-colored appearance. Neither the exterior nor the interior shows oxidation of metal.

Petrography: (B. Hofmann, NMBE, J. Pape, UBE/NMBE): Strongly recrystallized, chondrules only present as relicts. Mineral grains (except Fe metal) show strong irregular fracturing. Mean size of plagioclase grains is 80-150 μm. Very minor rust staining around metal grains. Rare small (to 10 μm) native Cu at troilite-iron boundaries. Troilite shows lamellar twinning and contains inclusions of pentlandite to 20 μm. Below fusion crust cracks filled with remobilized troilite.

Geochemistry: Electron microprobe analysis (J. Pape, UBE/NMBE): olivine Fa24.3±0.3 (range Fa23.8-24.7; n=17), pyroxene Fs20.5±0.2Wo1.5±0.2 (range Fs20.1-20.5Wo1.1-1.7; n=17), plagioclase An10.4±0.3Or5.9±1.1 (range An9.9-10.9Or3.9-7.9; n=13). Cosmogenic radionuclides: (Å. Rosén, Germanium Material and Meteorite Screening Experiment): Gamma-spectroscopy performed in November 2018 showed the presence of the following short-lived radionuclides (dpm/kg as of 5 January 2018): 46Sc 5.0±1.5/-1.3, 54Mn 44.5±4.7/-3.3, 57Co 4.7±0.8/-0.3, 22Na 71.8±6.0/-5.2, 26Al 34.4±1.7/-3.9 and 60Co 0.36±0.07/-0.09. The 22Na/26Al activity ratio of 2.16(+0.09,-0.08) and activities of 54Mn and 46Sc are in the range of recent falls. The activity ratio of 54Mn/46Sc is 8.9. Activity ratios of fresh OC falls are 8.1-17.2 (mean 11.1±2.8, median 10.0, based on 27 analyses in Evans et al. (1982). Assuming the lowest reported initial ratio of 8.1 at the time of fall, the actual fall date would have been just ~16 days before January 5, 2018. The fall must thus very likely have occurred after December 20, 2017, even with this unlikely assumption. Low 26Al and 60Co indicate a small pre-atmospheric size.

Classification: Ordinary chondrite (L6), shock stage S3, no weathering (W0).

Specimens: 22.2 g and one polished thin sections at NMBE. Main mass with Beat Booz.

  • Evans J.C., Reeves J.H., Rancitelli L.A., Bogard D.D. (1982) Cosmogenic Nuclides in Recently Fallen Meteorites' Evidence for Galactic Cosmic Ray Variations During the Period 1967-1978. J. Geophys. Res. 87 Issue B7, 5577-5591 (link)
Data from:
  Table 0
  Line 0:
Place of purchase:Foum Zgouid near Zagora, Morocco
Date:2018 Jan 5
Mass (g):538
Shock stage:S3
Weathering grade:W0
Fayalite (mol%):24.3±0.3 (23.8-24.7; n=17)
Ferrosilite (mol%):20.5±0.2 (20.1-20.5; n=17)
Wollastonite (mol%):1.5±0.2 (1.1-1.7; n=17)
Classifier:B. Hofmann, NMBE, J. Pape, UBE/NMBE
Type spec mass (g):22.2
Type spec location:NMBE
Main mass:Beat Booz, Frick, Switzerland
Comments:Submitted by Beda Hofmann
   and collections
NMBE: Natural History Museum Bern Bernastrasse 15 CH-3005 Bern Switzerland, Switzerland; Website (institutional address; updated 2 Mar 2012)
UBE: University of Bern, University of Bern, Hochschulstrasse 4, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland (institutional address)
References: Published in Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 109, in preparation (2020)
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Photos uploaded by members of the Encyclopedia of Meteorites.
    (Caution, these are of unknown reliability)
Beat Booz                        

     Recommended::   (33° 15'N, 2° 45'W)

     This is 1 of 6 approved meteorites from Eastern, Morocco
     This is 1 of 2082 approved meteorites from Morocco (plus 31 unapproved names) (plus 1 impact crater)
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